As a heuristic, I tend to avoid foods labeled as "vegan," because in my limited experience, they tend to be poor imitations of their non-vegan>"/>
As a heuristic, I tend to avoid foods labeled as "vegan," because in my limited experience, they tend to be poor imitations of their non-vegan counterparts. Sure, a tomato is both vegan and delicious, but I've never met a vegan pizza that tasted better than the paper on which they print Dave Matthews tickets. However, at my first visit to the Intellectual Ventures kitchen lab last summer, I ate a bowl of pistachio gelato, which I was later informed was (you guessed it) vegan! The gelato was smooth and silky, and unquestionably better than any lactose-free ice cream I've ever tried. And although Modernist Cuisine doesn't wander into the realm of desserts, luckily for us, their pistachio recipe is their sole exception. I've substituted cashews for pistachios, but other nuts will work just as well. I've also simplified the emulsifiers called for in the book, which means you can find everything you need to make this recipe at a (finer) grocery store.
This gelato screams "cashews" and is delightfully salty. Now that you've got a reliable recipe for nut-based vegan gelatos, you can finally open that Fremont dessert shop you've always dreamed of . . . bongo drums and all.